It feels like every day there is something in the news about the cost of living, but more specifically the cost of housing. Housing affordability has been an issue in New Zealand for a while now, which while frustrating, has simply meant that people need to change the way they think about housing. Affordable house designs are everywhere, but you just need to know how to maximise your value for money.
Let’s take a look at some of the recent trends in affordable housing design.
When it comes to building a new home, size matters. At least, it matters when you consider the cost of building. Housing affordability in New Zealand is one of the reasons people are opting for smaller homes. However, a lack of space around major cities is also driving this trend.
In many urban areas, or locations close to major cities, there is a lack of available land which makes it difficult to buy and build where you want. This is why many people choose to do a knockdown rebuild in NZ. Buy the land and house in a location you love, knock down the house and start again.
The lack of available land has also directly impacted the size of modern homes, with many plots of land subdivided to create smaller, but more plentiful housing opportunities in city areas. So, whether you’re looking for a home in the city or elsewhere, the best way to keep costs down is to keep the size of the property down.
Level blocks of land
Many affordable house designs are specifically made for level blocks of land. Why? Because in short, it’s easier to build there. Sloping blocks of land usually require considerable earthmoving work before the site is even ready for building. Not to mention the house design needs to support a sloping block.
Building on sloping blocks actually results in some incredible houses, using the land to get half an extra storey or to build a magnificent deck. But these aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind when trying to keep building costs down.
Rather, people are preferring to build on level blocks because it’s simply faster. When your building company can build on a block more easily, the cost goes down.
House and land packages
Another growing trend in New Zealand is the rise in house and land packages. A house and land package is usually purchased directly from a developer or building company. You get the land and the house all in one. Of course, you can still choose your house design, or in some cases construction is already underway.
A house and land package doesn’t necessarily mean a small home. However, new subdivisions in New Zealand often include smaller blocks or even shared blocks. So, while you also save money buying the house and land together, you also save money because the homes are usually smaller and already pre-designed.
A step away from custom homes
If you’re considering building your dream home, the likelihood is that you’re not too concerned with affordability. You want a nice custom home that perfectly suits your lifestyle because you’ve worked hard for it. But when you’re more focused on budget, such as first home builders, you may not be able to get a fully customised home.
When building custom homes, you usually need architects involved which increases the cost. Then, the house build is likely going to be more complex, which takes longer and ultimately costs you more money. But if you choose an affordable house design already on offer from your building company, the costs go down. This doesn’t mean the houses are lower quality, it’s just that the design has already been done, so that cost disappears. Plus, your builders have likely built the same home or something very similar before, which often speeds up the build time.
Open plan living
While it’s not necessarily a new trend, open-plan living is a terrific way to reduce the overall size of your home while still having plenty of space for your needs. The new Aspire range from Stonewood Homes is a good example of this. It’s a smaller home overall, but by combining the living, dining and kitchen spaces into one, you get a feeling of spaciousness.
This open-plan style of living also means you can still have the generous bedrooms, built-ins and other features you love, but you’re not wasting space with unnecessary internal walls and doors. Building a smaller home that feels just as spacious inside is one of the most popular trends when it comes to affordable house designs.
Looking for affordable house design in NZ?
Stonewood Homes is committed to making it easier for New Zealanders to build a home they love. More than just our new Aspire range of house designs, we’re constantly searching for ways to keep costs down for our customers without sacrificing quality. It’s part of the reason we’re one of New Zealand’s leaders in affordable house designs.
If you’d like to find out more, contact the friendly team at Stonewood Homes today.